Mike Ford is excited by the prospect of seeing his Oxford City team take on in-form Barrow in Skrill North at Marsh Lane tonight, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
City are set to play just their third match of 2014 following a spate of postponements capped by their clash at Workington being called off on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch after they had travelled up the previous day.
Barrow, who were held to a goalless draw at home to Leamington on Saturday, are on a seven-game unbeaten streak, which has lifted them out of the relegation zone.
But, after a fortnight without a game, Ford senses his side are eager to get back into action.
“We haven’t played a lot of football lately, so we’re excited to play,” he said. “Especially after the disappointment of having Saturday’s game called off.
“They’re still rivals and I’m sure their manager will say that they’ve given themselves a great chance to get out of it with their recent results, but they’re not there yet.
“You’re never out of it. Once you’re in a relegation battle it’s a long slog to the end of the season.”
Ford is unable to call upon goalkeeper Victor Francoz, who remains sidelined with a calf injury after falling out of a tree while trying to save a cat.
Striker Steve Basham is also missing, though the experienced forward has now returned to training following a protracted spell on the treatment table.
Meanwhile, City’s match at Workington has been rearranged for Tuesday March 4.
Oxford City: from Scott, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Pook, Henderson, Willmott, Bell, Pond, Jackson, Cook, Winters, Malone, McEachran, Symons, Learoyd, Ballard, Joyce, West.